Tackling your debts

What is diligence in Scotland and what can I do about it? Part 2

Posted 23 November 2015

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If you live in Scotland and you have problem debt, you may have heard of diligence. Find out what it is here.

So what kind of diligence can a lender use? 

If your lender uses diligence, it can be in a number of ways, including an:

·         attachment of money or property outside your home

·         earnings arrestment or bank arrestment

·         application for an exceptional attachment order (EAO) from the sheriff’s court

·         inhibition of the sale of your house, business premises or any land you own

The full list of diligence methods, and full explanations of each, can be found here.





What can I do to stop diligence?

Now you have a better understanding of what diligence is, you probably want to know how you can stop it.  One of the ways is to pay what you owe, but if you can’t afford to do that there are other options.  You can speak to a Money Adviser about entering into a debt solution, such as setting up a DAS Debt Payment Plan, Trust Deed or looking into Sequestration, more details on all the Scottish debt solutions can be found here. Or you can apply for a Time to Pay order.

A Time to Pay order really is what it sounds like, an order that allows you time to pay off what you owe, usually in monthly instalments. It also prevents creditors from using most other forms of diligence against you.

If the diligence is related to either of these two debts:

·         sums of money related to divorce actions or maintenance orders or

·         income tax, car tax or VAT arrears,

you’ll not be able to use a Time to Pay order.

However, if the diligence is a sheriff court decree for a debt that is for less than £25,000, or a summary warrant for council tax, a Time to Pay order is something you can apply for.

Speak to someone

If you’re facing diligence from your lenders it makes sense to get some advice. It is a complex area and it may help to speak to an expert who can take you through all your options.  We have trained advisors ready and waiting to take your call. They can answer your question and put your mind at rest. They can take you over the process of dealing with your lenders, if you find it too stressful, and help you navigate your way through the legal process.  Just choose one of the ‘contact us’ buttons from the left of the page.




If you prefer, you can contact a money adviser and ask for their help. A list of trained money advisors is available from Money Advice Scotland.

by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.